Embark on an unforgettable 5-day desert tour from Marrakech to Fes, where you’ll journey through the captivating Erg Chebbi Dunes and explore a wealth of exciting destinations along the route. Immerse yourself in local traditions, savor the delicious gastronomy, and marvel at the diverse architecture that defines South Morocco
5-Day Marrakech to Fes Tour Itinerary Overview
Embark on a remarkable 5-day desert tour from Marrakech to Fes, and immerse yourself in the breathtaking landscapes of Morocco’s most coveted destinations. Our journey commences with a traverse through the High Atlas Mountains, taking in the splendor of Ait Benhaddou on the first day, with an overnight stay in Ouarzazate.
On the second day, the highlight of every Moroccan excursion awaits as we venture into the captivating desert. Day three is dedicated to exploring the desert and engaging with Nomad Berber communities. On the fourth day, we chart a different course, leading us to Midelt.
As our adventure draws to a close on the final day, we will guide you to Meknes before returning to Fes, where this remarkable journey concludes
Discover the Highlights of Our 5-Day Marrakech to Fes Tour Itinerary:
- Immerse in the captivating scenery while journeying through the High Atlas Mountains and traversing the Tizi-n-Tichka pass.
- Explore UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the Ait Ben Haddou and Telouet Kasbahs, with their rich history and cultural significance.
- Visit the beautifully restored Kasbah Amredhil and meander through the lush palm groves of the Skoura Oasis.
- Embark on off-road adventures through the Valley of the Roses and the famed Road of the Thousand Kasbahs.
- Take guided hikes through the striking Toudgha Gorges and the Dades Valley, or enjoy leisurely walks along the riverbanks.
- Experience enchanting nights in a luxurious desert camp amidst the Erg Chebbi dunes, where Berber singing and drumming by the campfire create unforgettable memories.
- Capture the magic of the desert while riding a camel at sunset in the Erg Chebbi Dunes, adorning blue turbans for a truly authentic experience.
- Choose a full day of camel trekking in Merzouga or opt for a half-day 4×4 excursion across the mesmerizing dunes.
- Encounter Barbary monkeys in the cedar woodlands of the Middle Atlas Mountains near Ifrane, adding a unique wildlife element to your journey.”
This revised version combines and enhances the description of tour highlights while maintaining a smooth, engaging flow.
5-Day Marrakech to Fes Tour Itinerary
Day 1: Marrakech – Ait Ben Haddou – Ouarzazate – Boumalne Dades
Embark on the first day of your exciting 5-day desert tour from Marrakech to Fes with a convenient pick-up from our Marrakech meeting point. Our journey commences as we traverse the remarkable Tizi Ntichka pass, boasting an impressive height of 2260 meters and stretching over 200 kilometers. Along the way, we’ll make a stop at a cooperative producing argan oil, offering you a glimpse into the process of crafting this versatile oil used in cosmetics.
Our next destination is the iconic Ait Benhaddou kasbah, a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned globally and celebrated for its significance in both tourism and filmmaking. During this leg of the excursion, we’ll pass by numerous kasbahs, including Telouet.
Our adventure continues to Morocco’s very own ‘Hollywood,’ the Atlas Studios, where the magic of filmmaking unfolds. Here, you’ll have the opportunity to witness the production process and equipment used in the movie industry. Ouarzazate and its surroundings have been the backdrop for various prominent films, including beloved series like Game of Thrones and Prison Break.
Concluding this eventful day, we proceed to Dades Gorges, where we will spend the night after indulging in a delectable lunch in this charming city.
Day 2: Dades Valley- Todra Gorges- Merzouga Excursion
As we venture into the heart of our 5-day desert tour from Marrakech to Fes, the thrill of visiting the desert awaits. Before arriving at our initial destination, Todra Gorges, our journey leads us through the captivating valleys that grace the route. Here, we’ll pause to explore the region and take a leisurely stroll amidst the renowned Todra Canyons, boasting canyons that soar over 300 meters in height and ranking among Morocco’s premier spots for climbing and photography. Our path will also take us through quaint Berber settlements, with a lunch stop in Tinghir or Tinjedad.
Completing our evening meal, we set out for our ultimate destination. Merzouga Desert, often regarded as the pinnacle of any Moroccan adventure, beckons. Our desert excursion kicks off with a memorable camel ride through the golden dunes. Along the way, we’ll make stops to savor the breathtaking scenery and witness the mesmerizing sunset. Our journey culminates at our desert-based Nomadic camp, where the evening commences with a traditional Moroccan feast. Subsequently, under the starry skies, our group will gather around a flickering fire, harmonizing to the rhythmic beats of drums.
Day 3: Merzouga Desert Exploration and Camel Trekking Adventure
The third day of our 5-day Marrakech to Fes tour beckons with an exhilarating desert excursion. Our desert journey commences with a visit to the Nomads, the indigenous people of Morocco. Here, you’ll gain insights into the authentic Moroccan way of life, as the Berber Nomads diligently preserve the rich customs and culture of the country.
After immersing ourselves in the Nomadic culture, we continue to Glb Nass, aptly named ‘people’s heart,’ where we pause to take in the panoramic vista of the Sahara sands. Our next destination is the historic kohl mine at M’Ifiss, formerly owned and utilized by the French colonial empire, offering a unique historical perspective.
Subsequently, we make our way to Khamlia for a delightful lunch and an opportunity to encounter the Gnawa people, hailing from Mali and Gabon, who have made Morocco their home. In the charming hamlet we visit, you’ll have the chance to experience their music and observe their distinctive cultural expressions.
The remainder of the day will be filled with further exploration, including visits to captivating locations like the Hassi Labied Oases, enhancing the depth and diversity of your desert journey.
Day 4: Merzouga Desert to Midelt Exploration
As the sun rises, we bid farewell to your desert lodge and set our course for Midelt. Our journey commences with a visit to Rissani, one of Morocco’s largest traditional marketplaces, offering a vibrant and authentic Moroccan experience.
Next, we journey to Erfoud, where we delve into various fossil workshops, granting you the chance to marvel at a fascinating array of fossils found in this region.
Our adventure continues with a visit to Ziz Valley, renowned as Morocco’s prime date-producing region. We ascend the Ait Chakr mountain, pausing at one of Morocco’s most magnificent panoramic viewpoints, where the breathtaking sight of hundreds of palm groves in the Ziz Valley unfolds before you.
The journey proceeds to the Errachidia dam, a vital location designated by the government to provide essential water resources to the region’s residents.
Our day concludes as we arrive in Midelt, where you will rest for the night, marking the fourth day of your unforgettable 5-day tour from Marrakech to Fes.
Day 5: Midelt to Fes Journey
Our fifth and final day begins with breakfast at your desert lodge, after which we set off for Fes. Our adventure commences with a visit to Rissani, home to one of Morocco’s most extensive traditional marketplaces, offering a glimpse into the heart of Moroccan culture.
Continuing our journey, we reach Erfoud, where we immerse ourselves in various fossil workshops, affording you the opportunity to explore a diverse array of fossils discovered in this region.
The next destination on our itinerary is Ziz Valley, celebrated as Morocco’s premier date-producing region. Our route leads us over the Ait Chakr mountain, pausing at one of Morocco’s most magnificent panoramic viewpoints, from which the sprawling palm groves of Ziz Valley unfurl beneath us.
We proceed on to Midelt, with a brief stop at the Errachidia dam, a strategic location designated by the government to provide vital water resources to the region’s inhabitants.
Our journey concludes as we arrive in Fes for the night, marking the fulfilling culmination of your 5-day tour from Marrakech to Fes.
Tour Inclusions and Exclusions
Our comprehensive tour package includes:
- Hassle-free pick-up and drop-off services at your accommodation.
- Comfortable transportation in a private, air-conditioned car, ensuring a pleasant journey.
- A knowledgeable and English-speaking Driver/Guide to enhance your excursion.
- Fuel costs for the cars, guaranteeing smooth and worry-free travel.
- One-night accommodation at a hotel/riad in a private room, tailored to your room type preferences.
- Memorable camel trekking experiences, with one camel provided per person.
- Enchanting camel riding experiences at sunset, creating lasting memories.
- Two hearty meals, comprising breakfast and dinner, during your stay at the Desert Camp. You can select your preferred tent type for added comfort.
- Convenient transfers to and from the camp in a 4×4 vehicle, offering an alternative to camel transport.
Our tour package, however, does not cover the following:
- Monument entrance fees.
- Lunches, providing you the freedom to explore local culinary delights.
- Tips for your guides and staff.
- Soft drinks, which you can purchase based on your preferences.
Highlights of Your 5-Day Marrakech to Fes Tour via Merzouga:
Our 5-day journey from Marrakech to Fes, passing through Merzouga, is a vibrant tapestry of captivating attractions and experiences. To provide you with a glimpse of the incredible adventure awaiting you, here’s a brief overview of the highlights you’ll encounter during your itinerary with us
Merzouga: A Moroccan Desert Oasis
The Merzouga desert has emerged as a pivotal player in Moroccan tourism and its thriving economy. Renowned for its mesmerizing golden sand dunes, it has secured its position as a must-visit destination within Morocco. Situated in the far southeast, a mere 50 kilometers from Algeria, Merzouga is not an isolated oasis. Travelers embark on multi-day excursions, spending nights in Berber tents, traversing considerable distances by their own vehicles, or arranging guided tours to explore various captivating sites en route to the desert. Above all, Merzouga’s desert and the array of activities it offers stand as the crown jewel of Moroccan itineraries.
Named after the Merzoug family who once inhabited this region, Merzouga relies primarily on tourism as its lifeline, serving as the key source of income. Nonetheless, certain areas still sustain their livelihood through agriculture.
Erg Chebbi, the desert segment of Merzouga, stretches over 30 kilometers from Tighmert to Khamlia. As you venture further towards Rmlia and Jdaid, you’ll encounter additional desert landscapes. The most prominent among them is the Znigui desert, captivating around 10% of Merzouga’s visitors.
Merzouga’s fame is intertwined with camel rides and glamping experiences amidst the enchanting dunes. The breathtaking sunrises and sunsets only add to the allure of this remarkable desert destination.
Ait Benhaddou: A Glimpse into Moroccan History
Our 5-day tour from Marrakech to Fes unfolds a remarkable journey to the medieval marvel known as Ait Benhaddou. Situated at the pinnacle of the High Atlas Mountains, approximately 30 kilometers from Ouarzazate, this walled town earned the distinguished status of a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987.
Ait Benhaddou stands as a living testament to the finest Moroccan architectural craftsmanship, distinguished by its unique fusion of Berber and Arabic influences. The monumental towers and fortifications were originally erected for defensive purposes, boasting intricate Moroccan clay art adornments that make them truly exceptional.
Tradition holds that this architectural gem was established in the 11th century under the patronage of Thami el Glaoui, a member of one of Morocco’s most affluent families. While the original inhabitants have since relocated to other regions, this magnificent citadel has stood the test of time. Presently, only about 40 households remain, though they no longer reside in the central village, having moved across the river. Their livelihood predominantly hinges on the influx of tourists who visit this iconic destination, drawing over 130 thousand visitors annually.
Ait Benhaddou transcends its status as a mere tourist attraction; it serves as a captivating backdrop for numerous film productions, including iconic titles like Gladiator and Lawrence of Arabia. What truly sets this place apart is the enduring warmth and hospitality of its residents, reflecting the genuine Moroccan spirit that continues to allure visitors from both within and beyond the nation.
Ouarzazate: Gateway to the Sahara
On our 5-day journey from Marrakech to Fes, a visit to Ouarzazate, often dubbed the gateway to the Sahara Desert, is an essential excursion. This city holds a position of immense significance as it boasts an international airport, rendering it an ideal entry point for travelers embarking on desert adventures. Ouarzazate, renowned for being home to the world’s largest solar power plant, is a veritable powerhouse in the realm of solar energy. While the public’s access to this solar marvel is limited to times when it serves as a filming location for movies and TV shows, Ouarzazate has earned worldwide acclaim for this distinction.
Nestled midway between Merzouga and the Sahara Desert, Ouarzazate occupies a pivotal role for many tourists. Its Berber-derived name, signifying a ‘quiet city’ or ‘serene place,’ may not be boisterous, but it resonates globally.
Among its myriad attractions, the Atlas Studios take center stage. During your visit, you’ll encounter two distinct Atlas Studios. The Oscar Studio, the more renowned of the two, lies approximately 5 kilometers northwest of the city’s center, offering captivating vistas of magnificent sets that transport you through time. Conversely, the CLA Atlas Studio, though the city’s oldest, remains a less-frequented gem.
Beyond its appeal to tourists, Ouarzazate stands as a prime location for the production of TV shows and movies. One notable example is the filming of the sixth season of ‘Prison Break,’ cementing Ouarzazate’s standing in the world of entertainment.
Exploring the Desert: Day 3 of Our 5-Day Marrakech to Fes Tour Itinerary
On the third day of our 5-day journey from Marrakech to Fes, you’ll embark on an immersive desert excursion that introduces you to various captivating places and experiences, offering a unique insight into Moroccan Berber life in the desert.
Our desert trip commences with an excursion to encounter the Berber Nomads, individuals who continue to live in traditional tents and lead modest lifestyles. In recent years, the majority of Merzouga’s residents and those in the neighboring communities were nomads. In essence, the inhabitants of Merzouga were once nomadic, dwelling in tents before transitioning to more permanent abodes. The nomads we meet derive their livelihood from herding and trading their herds in ancient souks like Rissani and Erfoud. What sets them apart is their steadfast commitment to the authentic and straightforward desert nomadic lifestyle, renowned for its warmth and generosity.
Furthermore, our desert journey grants you the opportunity to connect with the Gnawa people, originally hailing from diverse nations such as Niger, Gabon, and Mali. Those who reside in Khamlia, approximately 4 kilometers from Merzouga’s town, have embraced Berber culture and the Tamazight language. They have seamlessly integrated into the Berber society and have become an integral part of Merzouga. Their popularity has led to the establishment of Dar Gnaoua, a mansion where they congregate to perform music and host cultural events. Both visitors and locals from the surrounding region frequent this site to partake in and relish this unique culture.
In addition to these immersive cultural experiences, our excursion includes a visit to the Moroccan National Automobile Museum, adding a touch of automotive history to your journey.
Exploring Stunning Valleys on Your 5-Day Marrakech to Fes Tour Itinerary
While embarking on our 5-day journey from Marrakech to Fes, you’ll traverse a diverse array of breathtaking valleys, each offering its unique charm and scenic beauty. These valleys are a central highlight of our trip, and we’ll provide an overview of these natural wonders, highlighting their significance in chronological order.
The Draa Valley, situated in the southeast corner of the High Atlas Mountains, unfolds as one of Morocco’s most captivating treasures. Stretching over approximately 1,100 kilometers, it proudly claims the title of Morocco’s longest river and valley. Lush with sprawling palm and olive plantations, it serves as a lifeline to the towns of Agdz and Ouarzazate. Beyond these urban centers, numerous Berber communities along its banks derive their livelihood from its bounties, making it a vital source of income.
Next, the Ziz Valley, located between Erfoud and Errachidia, is renowned as the heart of Morocco’s date production. This valley plays a pivotal role in Morocco’s date industry and is the focal point of Erfoud’s annual festival, dedicated to celebrating this regional treasure.
Between Marrakech and Merzouga, you will encounter several other noteworthy valleys. Firstly, the Ounila Valley, which gracefully meanders past the formidable Ait Benhaddou Kasbah. This area is historically referred to as Oued El Maleh, signifying the ‘salty river,’ a testament to its previous role as a salt-trading hub. Secondly, the Rose Valley, celebrated for its fragrant cosmetic products, captivates with its vibrant flora. Lastly, you will explore charming smaller valleys in Boumalne, including the enchanting Dades Valley, each with its distinct allure and character.
Exploring Rissani, Erfoud, Ifrane, and the Cedar Forest on Your 5-Day Desert Tour Itinerary
As you embark on your 5-day desert tour from Marrakech to Fes, you’ll delve into the rich history and unique features of various Moroccan cities, particularly those in the southeastern region. Rissani and Erfoud are two prominent desert towns that hold a significant place in Morocco’s heritage, adding depth to your itinerary.
Rissani: Our journey begins in Rissani, the capital of the Tafilalt region. The name ‘Tafilalt,’ derived from Berber, translates to ‘jug.’ Rissani, also known as Sijilmassa, once thrived as a vital caravan stopover on the route connecting Niger to Morocco’s northwestern coast. Remarkably, it is the birthplace of Morocco’s current royal family and the Alaouiet dynasty, contributing to its historical importance.
Tafilalt boasts one of Morocco’s largest oases, featuring extensive palm groves. Rissani proudly hosts the largest traditional Souk in the southeastern region, operating on traditional methods of goods transportation using donkeys and horses. It is a key source of dates for Morocco and plays a crucial role in the desert region’s development.
The town bustles with activity during the Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday Souk days when local vendors and merchants gather to sell a wide array of goods. Much of the merchandise comes from Rissani and Erfoud, underscoring its significance.
Erfoud: Erfoud awaits your exploration, located around 50 kilometers from the Merzouga desert. It serves as the hub of fossil production in the southeastern region, where local workshops craft various types of fossils throughout the year. Erfoud also hosts an annual festival dedicated to showcasing the region’s diverse date varieties. This festival draws not only Moroccans but also visitors from around the globe, celebrating the richness of dates in the area.
Ifrane and the Cedar Forest: Our 5-day tour further includes stops at Ifrane and the Cedar Forest, offering unique insights into Morocco’s diversity.
First, we visit Ifrane, affectionately known as the ‘Little Moroccan Switzerland.’ Nestled in the Middle Atlas Mountains, this city boasts one of the world’s most pleasant climates. Ifrane, derived from the Berber term for ‘caves,’ has earned its reputation as Africa’s cleanest city and the world’s sixth cleanest. It is a renowned winter sports destination, attracting enthusiasts from far and wide. Moreover, Ifrane houses Al Akhawayn University, one of Morocco’s top educational institutions, making it a prominent destination for local and international visitors. Notably, the city is adorned with the iconic Atlas lion statue, a testament to its historical significance.
Continuing on your journey, you’ll encounter the Cedar Forest, also known as Gouraud Forest, located near Azrou. Previously home to extinct species, it now serves as a sanctuary for the Barbary macaque. Visitors flock to witness these fascinating creatures amidst a captivating natural setting.